On the surface, making a car insurance claim seems like it should be a fairly straightforward process. You’re in an accident, you document that accident, exchange information with the other individuals involved, and you’re reimbursed for injuries and vehicle damage. In reality, though, claims are rarely so simple, and some are especially complicated.
If you’ve been in an accident involving one of these situations, you’ll likely find the claims process to be difficult, and you may struggle to get appropriate reimbursements. In these situations, you or the other party involved could need special types of insurance if you hope to be covered.
Newly Licensed Drivers
When a teen or young adult first gets their license, parents often lag behind when it comes to putting them on the family insurance plan. So what happens if your uninsured teen is involved in an accident? You could face several different outcomes. In the best case scenario, your insurance company will revise your premiums based on when your teen began driving and provide reimbursement based on that change. Alternatively, they could drop you from their plan entirely.
As for any other parties involved in the accident, you may be responsible for their expenses if your child was at fault, even if you don’t have the support of your insurance company. Or, if they have uninsured motorist coverage, that may help them cover their costs.
When teens borrow a parent’s car, the situation is straightforward because they have the legal ability to be covered by the family plan. If someone outside your immediate family borrows your car and is involved in an accident, though, the situation is rather different. Such cases require a separate class of insurance known as non-owner coverage.
Non-owner coverage is rarely as comprehensive as traditional plans and won’t cover damage to your car or provide rental reimbursement, but it does include uninsured motorist coverage, bodily injury liability, and property damage liability.
Car insurance can be expensive, and for some individuals, the only affordable option is a low-cost insurance policy. Unfortunately, these policies cover so little that, particularly if someone is seriously injured, that coverage won’t be sufficient – and that can mean heading to court.
A car insurance accident attorney can evaluate your claim and help you appeal for appropriate reimbursement. They can also determine whether there is any other party, such as the local government that maintains the roads or the vehicle manufacturer, who may be at fault and should bear all or part of the burden of reimbursement.
Finally, with the popularity of Uber, Lyft, and similar rideshare services, car accidents are increasingly likely to involve the complex intersection between business and personal travel. If you’re a rideshare driver, your coverage will vary depending on whether you have a passenger in the car. These services will typically provide coverage if you have a passenger. However, if you’re just logged in and waiting to make a connection, you may need to rely on your personal coverage.
Despite the belief that insurance coverage is meant to support users, ultimately these companies will always put their financial interests first. This is why it helps to have comprehensive insurance and the support of an experienced legal advisor when you’ve been involved in an accident. That’s the only way you’ll get the financial support you deserve.